Sources for Compost Projects

December 10, 2017


Large Scale Composting places to start:

Other past projects to look into:

What other colleges have done:

Possibilities for funding:

How to compost

                Small scale composting: (how to, benefits, uses)

               What not to compost:

Composting in winter:

Indoor composters:



Link to Niemeyer Final Project Write Up

December 9, 2017

Final write up

Sources for Compost Projects

Daniel Delatte– Term Proposal

September 26, 2017

Project Outreach Proposal

Daniel Delatte


What I want to do is have an outreach program that will be centered around the natural sciences which is an under exposed career path for kids, especially those in inner city schools. That exposure only comes from those who find the time to look for it on their own, as well as those that take the opportunity upon themselves to make that happen. It would help if those who did were also relatively young in age to make the communication aspect of it easier—someone that makes it easier to relate to.

I would partner with Sally Leber, coordinator of the Little Big Brother/Sister program to get in contact with those schools. I would have those resources including transportation, media, and funding done through them for the majority part of it. If there are any additional things that aren’t included, I would gain the funding through whatever party would be involved in the action taking place. It is aimed to impact those kids in the local Delaware area schools, as well as a select few in the Columbus area.

Edward Abbey created a book that followed a experience detailed outline that I would base my own experiences off of and use that to relay the message of what many of the careers could lead to. In addition, I would like to draw in others in the science department of the school that would share their own experiences to show other opportunities outside of my own. I also have contacts affiliated with the Forest Service that have expressed interest in possibly being represented at a few of the events. I would have an illustrative presentation detailing my own experiences, showcased through pictures and such.

The process would also involve interactive portions where the kids got a chance to do some of their own studies and would be able to create their own experiences through exploration of places they’d be interested in visiting. We would expose them to various national parks and forests, giving them an opportunity to also learn about those in their local Central Ohio areas. We would also provide them with opportunities to become engaged in local initiatives to get out in nature.

The duration of it would vary between my availability for school, as well as that of the school and it’s students. The goal would be to make it from the 16th of October until the 6th of November, but those dates may change. I would meet once a week with preferably switching school’s to reach an impact on as many of them as I can. I would prefer to make it primarily for those in 2nd and 3rd grades, while still giving opportunities to anyone interested in making it.

Project Outline:

  1. Overview
    1. Presentation (all media and interactive planning)
    2. Mentors (students, faculty, and guests)
    3. Surveys (mainly for feedback)
    4. Transportation (buses by OWU and/or program)
    5. School’s (still finalizing all school’s that will be apart of it)
  2. Interaction
    1. How many people will determine if the program will be split to make communication easier.
    2. Student’s can choose if they’d prefer to hear about one over the other (if it were to be split up.)
  3. Feedback
    1. We would like to know what we can improve and if at all was it succesful.
    2. I’ll use that to gauge what the kid’s enjoyed most and implement it to get better future results.
    3. That information can also be used to understand what gets the youth most excited about the environmental aspect of science.

Annotated Biography:

Preservation Parks (

Preservation Parks would be a good way to start in involving them with local green spaces that would be fun to enjoy. It would also give them access to different events that they put on involving the outdoors.

Sneideman, Joshua. 2013. “Engaging Children in STEM Education EARLY!” December.

This article relays the importance of getting kid’s involved in the sciences early along with having them do it through being in nature.

NC State University. “Benefits of Connecting Children with Nature.” Natural Learning Initiative . January 2012. Accessed September 26, 2017.

This outlines the benefits in a start to a child’s development when nature is in involved. It gives pointers on how to present certain topics that revolve around nature.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (

The benefits behind having environmental knowledge and it’s relatedness to health. There are also games and websites the kid’s could play on their own time at home to get them more enthusiastic about nature.

“Importance of STEM Education in Elementary School | College of Education – FSU.” FSU College of Education. August 01, 2016. Accessed September 26, 2017.

Provides additional statistics behind what happens when kid’s are exposed to STEM early on.

Browning, M.H.E.M., J.L. Marion, and T.G. Gregoire. “Sustainably connecting children with nature – An exploratory study of nature play area visitor impacts and their management.” Landscape and Urban Planning 119 (2013): 104-112. Accessed September26, 2017. doi:10.1016/J.LANDURBPLAN.2013.07.004.

This could give some idea as to why children are not really invested in to play in nature. It provides research on what is impacted when they do and what ages do what.

Sobko, Tanja, Michael Tse, and Matthew Kaplan. “A randomized controlled trial for families with preschool children – promoting healthy eating and active playtime by connecting to nature.” BMC Public Health 16, no. 1 (2016): 1-11. Accessed September26, 2017. doi:10.1186/S12889-016-3111-0.

Randomized study that focuses seeing the benefits of eating and playing in nature in groups of children. Can tell what they lack when not exposed to sufficient time outdoors.

Skouteris, H., et al. “Promoting Obesity Prevention Together with Environmental Sustainability.” Health Promotion International, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014, pp. 454-462.

“In the case of children, this approach is supported with evidence that even from a young age they show emerging understandings of complex environmental issues and are capable of both internalizing positive environmental values and influencing their own environmental outcomes. Given young children’s high levels of environmental awareness, it is easy to see how environmental sustainability messages may help educate and motivate children to make ‘healthier’ choices.”



Niemeyer Project Proposal: Composting

September 25, 2017

Expanding Composting Efforts on Campus

Allie Niemeyer

Project Overview:

The intention is that I will apply for (and acquire) a SIP grant for an indoor composting system which Tree House will implement along with their current outdoor pallet composter.  From this we will investigate the differing products, efficiency, and problems that the two composting techniques produce, which can then be used as further research as to how the wider campus may be able to implement composting.  I also want to work with the different SLU’s and buildings and grounds to determine how their composting efforts can be undertaken in a successful manner so that the SLUs feel comfortable working with the compost and so that the compost can have a purpose besides waste diversion.  I would like to work with SLUs to determine how much waste is being diverted from the landfill on their end and troubleshoot any problems they may be having with their compost.  I would also like to look into options regarding the acquisition of brown compost (like leaves and cardboard) from the campus cleaning that goes on weekly.  On the other end I want to help find a place for the finished composted food to go, whether they use it as fertilizer with the planting process around campus or in the greenhouse or if there is another use it can have.  The purpose of this part of the project would be to make sure that on the small scale composting on campus could be implemented and to show that students are willing and interested to implement sustainable practices given the opportunity, in a reasonable way, to do so.

In addition to the individual composters I would like to investigate how composting can be utilized on a larger scale on campus, I will investigate different campus composting programs and attempt to get in touch with places that accept food materials for large scale composting to determine a location that would accept such a large amount of food materials.  I will also talk to the Chartwells director to determine how much food waste is being thrown in the garbage on a weekly basis.  My goal for this side of the project would be to determine what the campus would need to do to re-implement campus-wide composting from the kitchens and begin the research for a future student or a future project in order to produce a manageable amount of information so that someone could have a more concise starting point as to where to begin a campus-wide composting plan.

Project Outline:


Methods and Results

  • Project description
  • SIP process
  • Pallet composters
    • How they worked
    • Where materials were acquired
  • Zera/indoor composter
    • Comparisons between different composters made before purchase
  • Efficiency and problems with different composting types
    • Solutions to these problems
    • Future suggestions
  • Information about larger scale composting


  • Recommendations for SLU composting
  • Recommendations for indoor composter
  • Campus wide composting




Here I will give the information that I send the SLUs, including instructions on composting, common mishaps and solutions, and anything else I run across


Annotated Bibliography:

People :

Eva Blockstein-head of the Tree House, willing to help in any reasonable capacity.

Other SLU heads:             Nicole White, Izzy Taylor, George Brown, Delanie Baker, Marisa Grillo, Genaye Ervin, and Hailey LaRoe


Compostio- this is a cheaper option for an indoor composter that is currently available, the site has some information on how it works and its capacity.

4 Composters for small spaces-this is another list of indoor composters currently available.

Zera food recycler- these sites have information about the Zera composter that Whirlpool is in the process of releasing, it is a larger indoor composter

Composting in the Home Garden- this is a look at the composting process and the requirements of successful composting, as well as information about how to compost and when its done in a small scale composter.

Composting 101: What is Compost?- this is another look at the process of compost and how to use the finished product

How Do Compost Piles Work?- this is a look at pallet composting, the different mixture you want to keep and what you can and can’t add to the pile.

The Easiest Way To Compost- this is a look at the process of starting a pallet composter and the beginning steps to implementation of the composter.

Composting – this is a more in depth look at the benefits of composting and the items you should compost and their breakdown as a green or brown compost material

School Composting – Let’s Get Growing! A guide for student leaders and teachers- this is a basic guide to implementing composting at different scales at a school, it is more aimed towards elementary and middle schools, but has good information about things to consider for any large scale and small scale composting plans.

FOR solutions- this is a company that works with universities and has a large scale composter, it also has information regarding budget and efficiency of onsite composting.

The Compost Exchange- this is a Columbus company that may be willing to take food scraps and compost them, especially from the kitchen where the food is already separated.

Project Proposal: Save the Night

December 15, 2016

Save the Night

Participants: Max Kerns & Amanda Apicella

Description of Project: To research Ohio Wesleyan University’s history in regards to Astronomy as well as look into the topic of light pollution and how it can be addressed both on campus and off. We are going to be looking into past projects and proposals at OWU and to other campuses/areas that have taken steps or made attempts to address this issue. We also hope to propose potential solutions to issues of light pollution and the pros & cons of each for our campus and the city of Delaware Ohio. It is also important to look into ways to raise awareness to start getting others involved so that future plans/projects can get the support they need.

Project Outline:

  1. Ohio Wesleyan University’s History with Astronomy
    1. Perkins Observatory
    2. Student Observatory
  2. Previous Projects and Proposals
    1. Lights Out OWU (by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin)
    2. Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project (by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn)
  3. Details and Information on Light Pollution
    1. Types of light pollution and what causes them (types of lights and uses of them)
    2. Effects on Environment and Human Health
    3. Security and crime
  4. Recommendations and Potential models
    1. Earth Hour Promis
    2. Retrofitting city lighting
      1. Potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit amount of upward-facing light
    3. Energy saving initiatives


Project Report: “Save the Night” Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns

December 15, 2016

Save the Night   


Amanda Apicella and Max Kerns


“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” ~Neil Armstrong

During the process of putting together our project we were inspired by many communities around the United States that have initiated policy in order to reduce light pollution. Humankind has long had a deep and meaningful connection to the cosmos. It is through this connection, that dreams are inspired, questions are born, and we dare to hope.

OWU has also had a lasting history in Astronomy, since the late 1800s. One particular figure, Hiram Mills Perkins, a long time Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, made great efforts to provide facilities to better the ability of learning about our universe. His donation of two facilities, provided many benefits. The Student Observatory, at Ohio wesleyan, was built in the early 1900s and is still in use by students today. The second, Perkins Observatory was built just south of Delaware City on State route 23. Perkins observatory has been host to numerous research teams from Ohio Wesleyan University and  The Ohio State University. It was even on the grounds of Perkins observatory that the WOW signal was heard, using the Big Ear radio telescope.

So putting together these ideas, those of a reduction in light pollution and being able to reconnect to a enriched past, we began to look for ways to incorporate a model of reducing light usage. It was not long that we found that some of these concepts had been brought up before as ways to help greening of Ohio Wesleyan Campus and greatly reduce energy needs. Furthermore we found innovative programs from other universities throughout the United States. This combined with Earth Hour programs seemed a logical step in bringing several projects together on a campus initiative to save money, reduce our carbon footprint, and reduce light pollution, in hopes to save the night sky.

Methods and Results

Previous research Proposals:

In order to move forward with the “Save the Night Project” we wanted to try and merge some information from the past and implement these with our project.

Lights Out OWU – Proposed by Brendan Wood and Varalie Vanichstin


This project definitely has potential to be made into something. From where the project can go from here there are several options. One of the first ideas to work to calculate the actual figures of power draw from before the lights are shut off more regularly and what they will be afterwards. Another idea to help construct a student group that could be responsible for helping promote this idea of helping to keep lights and equipment off when not in use. This group could also be put to work to help shut the lights off, initially perhaps before weekends and from there an even more regularly weekly event. If properly managed this could definitely be fostered into a solid initiative to help promote the idea and actual practice of being more green and safer to the environment.

Incandescent Suppressant Fluorescent Project – Proposed by Andrea Mac Vay and Sean Kinghorn


With regards to this university, acceptance of this proposal would be highly recommended. The university would benefit greatly in electricity costs while also enjoying the benefits of having conducted an environmentally-friendly project that will bring attention to the campus. However, most recommendations with this project involve the problems with LED technology itself. The City of Pittsburgh also conducted an extensive exterior lighting retrofit and discovered it would be most beneficial to replace all fixtures rather than merely replacing the lamps – a question that was debated in this project as well. Though it would initially cost more money, this study condones this course of action, as well as encouraging more research to be conducted on LED lights. The original cost of this project may appear daunting to members of the board, but the reality is that the long-term benefits will be innumerable. Currently, the university’s ten year energy costs exceed $340,000, but if the LED lights provided by Eco Lumens are installed, this cost will be reduced to just under $57,500 (Appendix 2). It seems ridiculous to not support this project when presented with such numbers, and if one also considers the environmental benefits it seems the project is a guaranteed success.

Combination of Ideas:

Using Lights out proposal along with a campus wide initiative to reduce electricity costs, savings could then be used to implement new lighting as lights deteriorate or are need of repair. We recommend when replacing lighting to use more effective lights that reduce light pollution. Also using these initiatives savings could be tracked to also help facilitate the process. The more that Ohio Wesleyan saves the more the university can use to replace the current lighting. The lighting then saves more money, with less electric being used, to then foster replacing more lights.

[Detailed description of the project. Include your question or goal for the project, relevant sources of information (articles, books, web sites, people, etc.). Describe what you did, how you did it, and the outcome of your project. Please include details including how you did things, created/made things, planned, etc. Include the outcomes, including problems you encountered, and suggestions for future work.]


Earth Hour Promise:

The idea is really quite simple. Turn off all non-essential lighting on OWU campus. Get student and faculty to commit to one hour. Earth Hour 25 March 2017, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Hopefully this will create interest in Earth Hour and the message of #changeclimatechange. We can use this initiative to get a meaningful dialogue started about reducing our energy in a simple way. With long term benefits of saving the night, and reducing light pollution.

Depending on time and budget, It would be nice to have an event on the Jay where donations could be received for Earth Hour. One simple idea would be to sell led candles for $10 representing OWU’s commitment to bringing back the night. This could hopefully turn into an annual event that would focus on climate issues keep the dialogue alive.

Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Skies the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.


Max Kerns:

Amanda Apicella:


Potential model for Delaware Community:

Hopefully with enough participation, in the future we could use models from OWU to further this Earth Hour event to the community of Delaware. Helping to reduce light pollution for the city and saving money as well. Then using the same model to retrofit city lighting into more useful and energy efficient varieties.  This would be the “Sky’s the Limit” project that would help get the community involved. It would also be nice to see Perkins get involved.

Things to consider:

History at OWU with astronomy. <- info on the Perkins Observatory. Only observatory in Ohio that provides public programs to tens of thousands of people every year. Founded by OWU.

Can’t find as much about student observatory though :/ Maybe try to get more info or contact someone in charge of it

Laying out the project plan for this years Earth Hour.

Putting together additional information. This year it might be as simple as getting the message out about Earth Hour.

Future initiatives to get the City of Delaware involved. (energy saving)

Possibly inquire about potentially adding top covers for outdoor lighting to limit the amount of light that travels upwards. The lights near Austin Manor could use covers and could inquire about that.

Additional Resources:

Earth Hour Link

Emerson Link:

Huffington Posts

Cornell Link:

University of Alberta Link:

Light Pollution Link:



Perkins II

Student Observatory

General Information Light Pollution:




Pacia Purcell: Project Report

December 15, 2016

Composting Possibilities at OWU

Pacia Purcell


  • Calculating food waste from Smith
    • How much is this costing OWU and how much could OWU save?
  • Possible Composting Techniques
    • Looking at other schools composting efforts
  • Composting with worms at Honors House
    • Researching composting and how it can work on a small scale and then implementing these techniques

Purpose: The purpose of my project was to learn about the food waste on campus and what can be done with it to make our campus more sustainable and to help the university save money. To do this I collected past and previous data about the food waste on campus and where exactly it goes. I also found how much could be saved if this food waste was composted. Additionally, I researched the composting process and started a small scale composting worm bin to eliminate food waste from the Honors House, where I live.

Food Waste on Campus: I first contacted Gene Castelli, the manager of Chartwells at OWU, to see if I could collect data on how much food waste is thrown out from the dining hall Smith. I was lucky enough to contact him at a time in which an outside company was coming in to access the food waste from Smith for a week. It was found from this outside company that food waste from Smith totals 1,000 to 1,300 pounds (325 gallons) per week. This includes all the food waste thrown from kitchen scraps, leftover food, and food left on student’s plates after they are done eating. From here I looked into where the food goes after it is taken out of the kitchen. There are three dumpsters in the Smith parking lot that are used for food waste. I calculated that each of these three dumpsters could hold about 400 pounds of waste, which correlates with the amount of food waste produced. I then went to the website of the waste company in charge of the dumpsters. I found that it cost $97 per month for one dumpster. From information that I gathered from a previous project in which food waste was collected for composting, I found that with food waste going towards composting at least one of the dumpsters could be removed.

Other Schools Composting: I researched composting efforts being made by other schools of similar size to OWU. I found examples of three different techniques being used. The first was of a school that had a small scale composting operation, but was receiving too much food waste to process. Therefore the school decided to invest in Earth Tubs, which are electrically run and able to process up to 100 pounds of food waste per day. The school invested in two of these and was able to process all of the food waste from the campus’s cafeterias. The second school I found collected the food waste and sent it off to an outside composting company. However, due to contaminated waste, the company stopped taking the food waste from the university. This is similar to the problems faced in the earlier composting project done at OWU. The third school I found had a successful, student-run composting operation. They built the composting tubs themselves, and they were kept up by several student volunteers from the school’s environmental club. The school found that by composting their food waste on campus they saved about $2,000 per semester.

Composting at Honors House: After a visit to Aleks Ilich’s house where he has a small worm composting operation in his garage, I was inspired to start composting myself. Over mid-semester break, I bought an undetermined amount of worms for $20 from a guy who also composts in Indianapolis. I then set up a storage tub that I found in my closet with paper bedding and food scraps to place the worms in, after finding a blog from a woman who had success doing the same thing. I brought the worms back to school with me and surprisingly things worked out rather well for a couple months. Their upkeep is relatively easy and include sprinkling water over their bedding a few times a week and feeding them once a week. However, after a couple months I hit a snag. The week before I had thrown in squash seeds, which the next week I found growing and none of the other food had been eaten by the worms. I left the tub alone for another week and upon inspection found that the squash sprouts had grown even taller and that there were other bugs in the tub. I then decided that I had sadly killed my worms.


Aleks Ilich:

Gene Castelli: